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In pursuit of getting one step closer to crossing off #8 off of my 30 before 31, I pulled out a cookbook I received for Christmas from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It’s chock full of chocolaty perfection, and I was eager to make something Andy and I could quickly grab as a snack in between running errands and our household chores.
After perusing the book for a few minutes, I landed on this tea bread. It was pretty simple to whip up, and I thought with a couple of tweaks it would be pretty perfect for us.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup craisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- zest of one orange
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each. If the mixture starts to curdle beat in 1-2 tablespoons of the four.
- Mix in the chocolate, the crasins, the pecans, the vanilla and the orange zest. Sift the flour and gently fold into the mixture.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and create a small well down in the center with the back of a spoon.
- Place loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
- Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes then carefully turn our to finish cooling.
- Serve in thin slices.
- At first glance, it looks like I changed a lot of this recipe, and to a certain extent ,that is true. I replaced three of the ingredients because of Andy’s food allergies and my absolute disdain of raisins, but I tried to stay close to the original recipe by swapping them for items that wouldn’t alter the integrity. There was still chocolate, dehydrated fruit, and nuts, so I think it all came out pretty true in the end.
- I left my bread in the full hour, and it came out a little drier than I like, which isn’t a problem if you are actually serving this with tea, but I think next time I’ll cut 5-10 minutes off the cook time.
I went a little crazy at Publix the other day. You see Pillsbury released a special holiday Cinnamon Bun Cake Mix, and I may have bought 3 boxes without even thinking about it. Okay, there was a little thought, but it went something like “Look! Special cinnamon cake! Andy likes cinnamon and cake. I should buy a couple just in case they’re awesome.” Fast forward to me trying to shove the boxes into my all ready jam-packed pantry and realizing that they would be in there forever if we didn’t like them. So, I decided to whip up a batch the week before Thanksgiving, knowing that if they weren’t our cup of tea, I could unload the extra mixes on unsuspecting family members. Plus, it gave me an excuse to try out a frosting recipe from Little City Adventures that I had my eye on.
- 12oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp milk
- 1 Tbsp orange zest
- 2oz can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Beat the cream cheese and butter until combined and creamy.
- Add the vanilla and half of the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until combined and creamy.
- Add the remaining confectioner’s sugar and the milk. Beat until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Once combined, continue mixing for at least 3 more minutes to create a light and fluffy frosting.
- I was a tiny bit disappointed that this frosting never got fluffy. I tend to like a “lighter” frosting, but if thick and sinfully rich is your thing, this is the recipe for you.
- While not my ideal texture, flavor-wise this was spot on. The cranberry and orange cut some of the richness, and I found myself eating far more than I should.
- Also, the cake mix was really good. It was very cinnamon-y, and I could even see eating it without frosting. The house smelled amazing while it was baking.